Master Builders Today, the Professions Literature Review

Pages: 4 (1160 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Architecture

By the time of 700 B.C. And the inscriptions of Sennacherib, much more detail is provided about the temple construction and the use of these structures in feasts and celebrations. Esarhaddon (681 to 669 BC), who was Sennacherib's son and successor of king of Assyria, tells of his interest to rebuild Babylon and its temple to the appearance of "favourable signs in the heaven and on earth" (Luckenbill 260) He proceeded cautiously by asking an oracle if he was making the correct decision: "To (await) the decision of Shamash and Adad, I prostrated myself reverently; to (learn) their final decree, I arranged the soothsayers at the entrance to the Bit-mummu. I saw a vision concerning Assur, Babylon and Nineveh. (For guidance) concerning the artificers who should accomplish the work and carry out (lit. bring in) the (divine) decree…" (ibid). When Esarhaddon received positive confirmation, he hired "wise architects and skillful builders," laid the walls of the foundation in "choice oil, honey, butter, wine of the mountain," and spanned the roof "with beams of cedar, the product of Mount Amanus" (ibid 250-251).

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The concept of builder in Egypt encompassed the positions of architect, engineer, and builder. There was no distinction between the three roles, and all were normally conducted by one person: the master builder. This concept lasted for some time until more complex structures and construction techniques led to the disciplines becoming separated (Jackson 5). At first, the architects and engineers of Egypt (and Rome) belonged to the priesthood or were closely related with it. This idea is based on the fact that the Latin word pontaifex or "bridge builder" designated a priest (Straub 32). As time passed, along with the growing initiation and supervision of the construction of temples, aqueducts and roads, specific people needed to be designated in charge. In Egypt, the quarrying of stone material and its transport from the quarry to the site, the removal of the huge blocks including the hardest granite, the organization and catering for the tremendous numbers of labour forces that were required at the edge of the desert all caused considerable challenges and difficulties that could only be handled by those who had specific knowledge (ibid 9).

One such "master builder" was the Egyptian polymath Imhotep (2650 -- 2600 BC), who served during the third dynasty of King Djoser and is the first such individual whose name was thus recognized (Osler 12). Imhotep was also considered a genius in many other fields, including medicine, mathematics, astronomy and poetry, which demonstrates the level of intellect of this new architectural role. He held the titles of high priest of Ptah, chancellor, palace administrator, builder, and sculptor and was later defied and worshipped as the god of medicine in both Egypt and Greece (Quatman 23). His cult reached its peak during Greco-Roman times when he was identified with the Greek god of medicine Asclepius.

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How to Cite "Master Builders Today, the Professions" Literature Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Master Builders Today, the Professions.  (2010, November 14).  Retrieved June 5, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Master Builders Today, the Professions."  14 November 2010.  Web.  5 June 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Master Builders Today, the Professions."  November 14, 2010.  Accessed June 5, 2020.